"The Lotus Eater"
"After the Rains"
Quilts & Tapestries
by Thom Atkins
are another love of mine. I have been working off and on with
them for some thirty years, starting with jewelry and adding
bead embroidery and most recently, embellished quilts. One
of my mentors has been my sister, *Robin
Atkins, teacher, friend, and fellow beadophile. It was under
her tutelage that I learned bead embroidery. I have since adapted
the basic embroidery stitches for the application of beads
to quilts. The work here shows my journey into the relationship
of beads and fabric.
It started when I was rear-ended on the freeway and couldn’t do sculpture
any more. I could, however, manage fabric and beads. Since I needed
a new job, I began to explore the relationships between beaded and
quilted surfaces and how they relate. I wanted to see beads as an integral
part of the design, not just sitting on the surface. Beads and fabric
complementing one another, neither one predominating, balanced. These
quilts are the results of my explorations to find that balance. Recently
I’ve been looking at the textures created when I sew the beads thru
the quilt to the back and adding that element into the over all design
of the quilts. That, along with various new techniques such as dyeing,
painting, printing and reverse appliqué, have kept me working happily,
if for no other reason than to see if the results look like what I
have pictured in my head.
Announcement: I've written a book! Available soon HERE.